Yes, we have to work on eradicating violence against women every single day, but having an International Day dedicated to it helps to raise awareness, as there is a greater distribution of information on this problem. In that spirit, I will leave here a few facts and figures. Please read through the links provided as well.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, in farm fields, refugee camps, during conflicts and crises. It has many manifestations — from the most universally prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence, to harmful practices, abuse during pregnancy, so-called honour killings and other types of femicide.
Violence causes more death and disability worldwide amongst women aged 15-44 than war, cancer, malaria and traffic accidents (World Bank Study World Development Report: Investing in Health, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993.)
Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property (UNICEF, ‘Gender Equality – The Big Picture’, 2007.)
A WHO multi-country study found that between 15–71% of women aged 15- 49 years reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.
Most countries have legislation intended to combat VAW, but the efforts should be ongoing, every day, by every body. Defunding programs that specifically target women, such as Planned Parenthood in the USA, is considered institutional violence, because it is the government itself that is acting against women’s health, bodies and ultimately, lives.
Violence is not normal. If you suffer or are suffering from some kind of violence, please report it. You should not live with it.